A DERELICT hotel in a Herefordshire town has been branded a "death-trap" by worried locals after years of neglect.

The three-storey Royal Oak, at the junction of South Street and Etnam Street in Leominster, is a Grade II-listed coaching inn thought to date from the late 18th century.

The hotel has been left empty for over five years and in that time has been subject to significant storm damage, vandalism and general neglect, with many in the area now regarding the prominent building as an eyesore.

Jay Rai, of Rai Fashions, Madley, applied in July 2022 for listed building consent to carry out repairs to the hotel, including to its roofing and windows, rebuilding a chimney and fixing storm damage which was approved with conditions. Even so, the building remains in a poor condition, with boarded up windows and crumbling masonry.


A number of locals have taken to social media to express their concerns and dissatisfaction about the Royal Oak.

Marina Morris said: “The Oak is now a death trap, it only needs a piece of the loose masonry to fall and hit someone on the head.

“I cannot understand why safety netting etcetera hasn’t been put in place.

“The building should be listed, condemned, or the owner made to make it safe.”

Seeing the online uproar, Jacky Herschy, town councillor for Leominster West, said that she had been actively asking Herefordshire Council to enforce a repair order for the building.

She added that she had complained to Sir Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, about the 80 percent reduction in government funding for local authorities which she feels has made it difficult for the county council to take action.

Pete Blench said: “I take on board Jacky Herschy's point that Bill Wiggin's government chums have so gutted local councils that they can't fulfil many of their duties.

“But that should not stop us from making a stink about a big issue in Leominster, the wilful neglect by the owner of the Royal Oak Hotel who is letting this historic Listed Building collapse into a dangerous state.

“Time is running out for the Oak, if it's left to rot much longer it may end up as a demolition job.

“Create a tsunami of protest. Demand Herefordshire Council take enforcement action.”